Atlas F1 News Service

Today's Selected Quotes - Malaysian GP

Sunday October 22nd, 2000


Michael Schumacher: "We wanted to win the Constructors' Championship and we have done it, not just by getting three points but by winning and by coming third. It was a very tight and tough race and DC was pushing me all the way, so it was tough physically and on the car. I did not know Mika had jumped the start as I was concentrating on the lights. I did not have a very good start and struggled to get off the line and so I was third as David out-braked me round the outside. He was pulling away and I was concerned, because I could not go any faster. At that point he was definitely quicker than me. I was hoping he would pit early. He did and our strategy did the rest. David put me under pressure at the end, but I had looked after the last set of tyres so that I could have defended myself if I had needed to fight him off. Then I just concentrated on not making a mistake. After the team has finished packing up, we will have a big, big party tonight and then we can go into a winter holiday, which the whole team deserves. They have worked so hard and delivered a perfect car. It's superb!"

Rubens Barrichello: "The conditions were very hot and at first I was worried the heat might affect me as I still have a bit of 'flu. But the car felt good all the time and so I was able to maintain a good pace. I also did not make a very good start and Wurz and Villeneuve came outside me. I was lucky not to hit anybody. I went into the corner really fast and managed to come out of Turn 2 ahead of Villeneuve. I had a lonely race, but I think it was my second best one after Hockenheim, because I was not feeling well but still raced at qualifying speed almost the whole time apart from the last ten laps, when the team told me on the radio to back off. My only problem was at the second pit stop when I could not get first gear and lost a few seconds. I am very pleased. The season has gone very well for me and to finish in a strong position like this means we can start next year in a strong position too."

Jean Todt: "The championship could not have finished better than this, with two drivers on the podium. This season's figures speak for themselves: ten wins, nine for Michael and one for Rubens. It has been a fantastic year. Today, we could have got by with three points, but we wanted to think big, not small, which is what the team deserves. A big thank you to President Montezemolo, who is here this evening to celebrate this happy moment with the mechanics, engineers and drivers. A big thank you also to the fans and those who always believed in us. This dream result has been obtained thanks to a dream team."


David Coulthard: "I managed to move from third to second at the start and took the lead when the team told Mika to move over on lap three as they realised he had jumped the start. Unfortunately I went wide at the exit of turn six picking up some grass, which went into the radiator inlets causing the engine temperature to rise. As a result the team decided to call me in for my pitstop early to remove the grass. I rejoined the race and was stuck behind Michael but was putting him under as much pressure as I could without getting into the dirty air created by his car. If he had made a mistake I would have got past him, but unfortunately he didn't and I had to settle for second. I would like to thank the team for their work during 2000 and am already looking forward to Australia."

Mika Hakkinen: "Not an ideal way to finish the season. My car moved a little before the start, but I was stationary before the lights went out. My one stop strategy would have been correct and my car was working well, so I believe I could have won. The team did a fantastic job, and I want to thank everybody for their great efforts during the year. I'm generally happy with the season and have some good memories. I'm now looking forward to a break before we start testing in December to prepare ourselves for 2001 when we want to renew our Championship challenge."

Ron Dennis: "We would have liked to finish the season with a win and it is clear that both of our cars today were capable of victory. The race reminds us that small errors can always determine the outcome of an event. However, after their mistakes both David and Mika raced well to achieve their respective positions. Now is the appropriate time to congratulate both Michael and the rest of the Ferrari team for their Drivers' and Constructors' Championships. I hope that they party for at least three months in order to give us a head start for next year."

Norbert Haug: "An exciting race with David challenging Michael Schumacher right to the end. Mika was on a one-stop strategy but was hampered by his stop-and-go penalty however he recovered well from last to finish fourth. A great season has ended in which both our drivers were competing for the World Championship for most of the year. All the guys in the team did a great job throughout the season, and I want to thank them all for their hard work. We are focusing on next year when we want to have another go at the Championships. Congratulations to Ferrari for winning the Formula One Constructors' and Drivers' World Championships."


Jacques Villeneuve: "We have made good progress and improved the car throughout the season. We have got to know the car better in terms of set-up which has allowed us to push harder in races and challenge consistently for points. The Honda engine started well and the guys have worked hard throughout the year, but more importantly we have had a car and an engine package that was able to finish races and that has allowed us to finish fifth in the championship."

Ricardo Zonta: "I lost my concentration at the beginning because I saw Mika Hakkinen jump the start. Then I overtook four or five cars in the first few laps and the car was really good - I was quicker than the Jordan, the Williams and the Jaguar. After the first stop I was up behind Irvine, we both ran over oil at turn six. He kept on the track, but I went through the gravel, lost time and picked up a lot of grass. Then the engine got hotter and hotter and my race was over."

Takefumi Hosaka, Managing Director Honda R&D: "I am very appreciative of Jacques' excellent performance in such hot conditions today to get fifth position. Ricardo also raced very aggressively but I am very sorry that he retired. I look forward to him continuing his good efforts in the future. Today, we helped the team to achieve its season's objective to get fifth position in the Constructors' Championship. This result was achieved thanks to everybody's efforts, so I would like to thank all the BAR people and my Honda colleagues for their hard work through this season. I would also like to thank our fans very much for their support during a long season and everyone at Honda looks forward to doubling our efforts for an exciting 2001."


Eddie Irvine: "It's pleasing to end the season with a point a very hard-earned point at that. Whenever the top four finish, the battle for the crumbs is tight so, we can be proud of our efforts today. Everything just seemed to click. We didn't make one change to the car and our strategy was spot on. In the latter part of the season we have begun to understand the problems with the car. If those theories prove correct, we can look to make a big step forward in 2001."

Johnny Herbert: "I guess it was inevitable that because I began my career being carried to the car, I would end it being carried out of it. I'm pretty disappointed to have a good race ruined by a failure such as that. I was running well early on until the problem at the pitstop. I braked for the line in the pit lane and the engine cut so I had to coast into the box. I'm okay. I have a bit of pain from the left knee but nothing too serious. There's nothing like ending your career with a bang. When the car pitched, I was trying to work out which way I was going in so I could position my legs for the impact but I lost my sense of direction."

Gary Anderson: "I think that's about the true extent of where we should be. Eddie did a good job and the team did a good job, and the stops were good. We've made a lot of mistakes in the past in every sort of area and we've pushed quite hard for the last race of the season. We changed the car a lot from qualifying to the race. We had a good race car, and a good qualifying car for Eddie. We used different strategies for both of them, and I think it worked really well. The right thing to do was to run one car one way, and one car the other, and take a chance on it."


Alexander Wurz: "I had a good start and retained 5th place after a little battle with Villeneuve. This was all fun and I was enjoying the race, then I realised I had a problem with the brakes. It was very difficult to keep the car on the road so I am happy I finished the race in 7th place. But all in all it is very disappointing as I had been very quick all weekend and so I at least expected to finish in the points. Now I would just like to thank the team for the four years we have spent together."

Giancarlo Fisichella: "This was a difficult race. I was on a one-stop strategy and it didn't work much in our favour as I had a lot of oversteer on the car. But the important thing is we are fourth in the Constructors' Championship and I am still sixth in the Drivers Championship, so I'm happy for this."

Pat Symonds, Technical Director: "Our objective here in Malaysia was to maintain fourth place in the championship and I'm very pleased that we have done it albeit by the narrowest of margins. Congratulations to the whole team. The result is a distinct improvement on last year and I believe it is nothing on what is to come in the future!"

Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: "Congratulations to the team our fourth place in the championship. This is a great motivation for the team after a difficult year and so well done to everyone here and at the factory. I am sure the team will continue to get stronger and stronger now as we have put in some good foundations this year and we look forward to welcoming Jenson Button to the team to drive alongside Fisichella next season."


Mika Salo: "My car felt great in the first stint, and I was able to climb up to eighth place by my first stop on the 16th lap. The second set of tyres gave me big understeer, however, and it wasn`t until I got my third set after my other stop on lap 36 that I could really push again. The last five laps were the best; you could really feel the grip coming back. I`d like to thank Peter and the team for a happy year, and wish them every success for 2001, when I hope that some of the things that I have helped to develop this season such as power steering prove beneficial."

Pedro Diniz: "A short race for me today! I got squeezed a bit in the second corner by Nick Heidfeld, and ended up hitting Jean Alesi, so that was it. A long way to come for such a short run."

Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "We are happy to have achieved two goals today: a top 10 finish and to keep ahead of Jaguar in the World Championship for Constructors. Pedro was unfortunate on the first lap, but Mika had another strong drive to eighth place and the team did its customary job in the pit stops. Once again, the C19 proved very reliable."


Jos Verstappen: "I had a good start and moved up some places, but then I braked for a corner a bit too late and lost the car on turn in, so had a spin. I did a U-turn and kept going, and I was only 50 metres behind the Minardis so I didn't lose that much time. When the safety car went in, I had a good race and enjoyed myself, passing people, and the car was very quick on the straight line. In the first stint the car felt very good and I could do very good lap times. After the stop we had a little too much front grip and I had more and more oversteer which made it very hard to drive. On the last few laps I suffered with a high hydraulic temperature problem and was stuck in 5th gear. I couldn't shift anymore so finished in 10th place. It was good to finish the race though, and I feel happy for myself and the team for the season overall."

Pedro de la Rosa: "The race was very short for me, and I will have to check it on the video, but apparently the guy who caused all the mess in the second corner was Diniz - I'm not sure. It was really disappointing and also the car went on 2 wheels and I nearly rolled from being hit, either from the side or the rear I am not totally sure. I had to retire which is very disappointing because we were on a good strategy, a one stop, and we had the entire race ahead of us and I was hoping to finish the season well. This hasn't been the case but anyway, things happen. Generally I am very happy with the season and we have shown to be the most improved team and for me, personally, I have had a good year and enjoyed racing very hard with lots of competitive teams, often up near the front."

Steve Nielsen, Race Team Manager: "I would like to start by thanking Supertec, the race team and all the Arrows staff back at Leafield for their tremendous hard work and for being such an important part in the Team's development and success this season. We couldn't have achieved what we have without their efforts and commitment. I know we didn't get any points today but it was nice that we were competing with some real racing for a while, even if we did have to tell Jos to short-shift and leave the car in 5th gear at the end to make it to the finish line. We've had some pretty good races this year and we've been racing for points which is motivating for the team and everyone else, so it's been a reasonably good year. It's a shame we didn't get more points - we had a car that was capable of more points but we've got to work hard over the winter and really make sure that we don't make the same mistakes next year as we did this year. The FIA will look at all the videos regarding Pedro's accident so we will wait for the outcome of that, and Jos had high hydraulic fluid temperatures and the car's temperature was going up and up. The last 4 laps he had to short shift and the last 2 laps I think he did in 5th gear the whole way, but at least we got the car home"


Jarno Trulli: "The team took the opportunity to fill the car with fuel. It was very hard to drive after that - I think the car may have suffered more damage than I first thought in that earlier incident - and I had problems with the tyre pressures. It was obviously a disappointing way to finish the season and it was really sad to hear that Johnny Herbert's last race ended with an accident. It's good to hear he's not badly hurt and I look forward to seeing him soon back in Monaco. I think everyone is ready for a break after such a long and hard season but, despite these disappointments, I can't wait to start all over again in 2001!"

Heinz-Harald Frentzen: "It's best to put the season down to experience and everything into next year and a new relationship with Honda. I feel optimistic because I know the team has the capability and the experience to put Jordan Grand Prix back on the podium, where we belong."

Eddie Jordan: "2000 has been an incredibly tough season, especially coming on the back of the successes of last year. Arguably, though, we have learnt more this year than last, and the disappointments have made us more determined than ever to be back winning races. Our new partnership with Honda will play a key part in achieving this goal. I would like to thank Mugen-Honda for the two years we have enjoyed with them - they have been fantastic. Heinz and Jarno have done a good job under difficult circumstances, and I know that they are really looking forward to 2001."


Gaston Mazzacane: "My car was well balanced under a heavy and a lighter fuel load. Since the very beginning, however, I had a problem under braking with the throttle pedal hampering me over the whole race. Luckily I stayed clear of the first incident and after a few laps I got a respectful position. We went for a one stop strategy, which is why I was heavier than Alesi who stopped twice. Unfortunately when I was back onto the track he was ahead of me, even if by a whisker. Later on I twice finished on the grass and I got to get into the pits again to clean the radiators. Temperatures dropped again to a normal level but on lap 51 a piston of the engine broke. I feel disappointed for not finishing as I would have liked, however I am looking forward to the coming season hoping to make some improvements."

Marc Gene: "Obviously I am disappointed for not finishing my race. On lap one I by-passed the incident where both Prosts and Diniz's Sauber were involved and, according to our expectations, my car began feeling well balanced toward lap sixth. My lap times proved really good, I was able to hold Ralf (Schumacher) and Mika (Hakkinen) behind me albeit on just a few laps. My car proved competitive until my first pit stop, whereas it suffered from a massive oversteer when I was running on the second set of tyres. I made a couple of mistakes without being able to push as I did before. In the end I had a problem to the rear left wheel and I was forced to stop. Still our objective to finish tenth in the Constructors' championship has been achieved and, considering the means available with regard to the other Teams, I wish to congratulate my Team for the excellent job done over the season."

Gian Carlo Minardi: "It has been a hard-fought race with Marc displaying one of his best performances in a season where our main objective has been definitely achieved. To secure the tenth place in the Constructors' world championship is a reward that the whole Team deserve after the hard job everybody did over these months. With his F1 apprenticeship being completed today, Gaston is one of the drivers who piled up the higher amount of race mileage. It is sad that he had to bring a premature end to today's race. Now we must focus to the coming 2001 season and concentrate all our efforts to achieve those objectives that the Team deserve to be as good as the others."


Ralf Schumacher: "I am massively disappointed, as starting from the eighth position I could have scored some points. My start was good even though my car was quite heavy, because of our one-stop strategy. I lost seventh place on lap one, when I was forced onto the grass when I was alongside a Jaguar. I couldn't even think about chasing the cars in front of me as I was suffering from big understeer. Even after the pit-stop my car's behaviour was only slightly better. When I was called in by the radio, my race was definitely over."

Jenson Button: "That definitely was not the way I wanted to end this season. The start was good, I managed to jump from 16th to 10th position. It wasn't looking too bad and with our strategy I think it could have worked out very well. But suddenly I saw some smoke coming out from the back of the car and the engine just died on the straight.

"This has been the best year of my life. I say thanks to the BMW WilliamsF1 Team, they have done a great job. It's a great pity to be leaving. Everyone in the team has been excellent and I can't wait to come back in 2003."

Dr Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "This obviously isn't a fairy-tale end to a fantastic season. We started the race with high performance engines in both cars of the specification introduced at Spa but unfortunately Jenson was stopped by an engine failure, the cause of which we will only be able to know in Munich. In Ralf's car there was a malfunction in the engine oil supply system. In order to avoid an unnecessary failure we called him in. We are disappointed now, of course, but I think that later in the evening we will only feel the pleasure of having achieved the third position in the Constructors' championship in a more than positive debut season."

Latest Headlines:
<<  Previous  |  Oct News  |  News Index |  Next  >>
*(03-16-2005): Badoer Continues Testing at Fiorano
*(03-16-2005): Fisichella Aims to Win Again in Malaysia
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*(03-16-2005): Preview: Raikkonen Aims to Stop Renault
*(03-16-2005): Malaysia Preview Quotes: Jordan

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